SDS Aqua-Xchange™ is an engineered pollution control and enhanced filter media. It uses ionic exchange and filtration to remove soluble and solid pollutants from surface water runoff.

How does it work?

SDS Aqua-Xchange™ uses naturally occurring, loose granular materials that maximise the pollution adsorption process by enabling stormwater to filter through the product’s large surface area. This prevents surcharging and allows enough contact time for the pollutants to be captured and ultimately retained for future disposal.

SDS Aqua-Xchange™ has been proven1 to capture and retain2 between 99.5% and 100% of copper and zinc toxic metal pollutants. So, it’s especially beneficial in areas with a high risk of metals pollution, and where the water treatment flow rate is greater, such as the road and rail network and industrial estates.

SDS Aqua-Xchange™ is also suitable for use in sites with a low to medium risk of pollution, such as residential developments, where it can be used to enhance the performance of other treatment devices, or when the additional removal of soluble metals is required.

¹ Tests were carried out in accordance with the British Water Code of Practice ‘Assessment of Manufactured Treatment Devices Designed to Treat Surface Water Runoff’.

² Metals retention under the influence of road salt application.

How is it installed?

SDS Aqua-Xchange™ can be installed as part of the new build construction process or retrofitted in established sites. It should be installed at a minimum depth of 250mm in order to achieve the residence time and product interaction that will guarantee the published performance levels.

SDS Aqua-Xchange™ is supplied in 1 cubic metre bags and can be deployed in a number of stormwater treatment applications including filter drains, dry swales, bio-remediation devices, infiltration basins and catch pits, and with or without attenuation. 

This shows typical application on a linear development, such as a road scheme, where a 250mm layer of SDS Aqua-Xchange™ is introduced into a filter drain, beneath a layer of standard aggregate.

The use of a linear filter drain allows a flexible design system, removing the need for large areas of additional land take.

Solids suspended in the runoff are filtered and collected in the aggregate, while soluble pollutants are captured by the layer of SDS Aqua-Xchange™ beneath.

This linear design offers a huge treatment capacity which can be more than eight times greater than in an end-of-pipe treatment device.

By introducing SDS GEOlight® tanks beneath the Aqua-Xchange™, the drain can also provide attenuation capacity and reduce downstream flood risk.

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Aqua-Xchange™ in a highway environment.

Aqua-Xchange™ in an urban environment.


Proven capability to remove and retain dissolved heavy metals including copper and zinc.
Can be deployed to control pollution and satisfy requirements of risk assessments for surface water runoff.

For use in linear developments as a 250mm deep layer beneath standard aggregate.
Increases treatment capacity and reduces downstream flood risk.

Loose granular material available in large one cubic metre bags.
Provides cost effective design flexibility.

Large treatment capacity from small land take.
Minimises costs of materials, on-site machinery and equipment, and labour resource.

High surface area of each component material.
Allows greater contact time to improve the overall treatment efficiency.

High percolation rate combined with large surface area.
Limits surcharging even in extreme environments.

Filters out finer solid particles.
Captures pollutants that would otherwise pass through an upstream hydrodynamic separator or silt trap.

Captured metals are retained even when road salt is applied to the catchment area.
Can be used unchanged throughout the year.

Suitable for use beneath a dry swale, rain garden or infiltration basin and as a road- or track-side filter drain.
Suitable for use in multiple high- and medium-risk sites.

Tested at an independent facility under the observation of a UKAS-accredited laboratory chemist.
Product’s performance capacity has been independently verified.

Estimated 25-year minimum performance lifespan.
Extended material durability provides long lasting service.


M56 Lymm

The UK’s first installation of SDS Aqua-Xchange™

Contact us to find out how SDS Aqua-Xchange™ can benefit your business.

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